(Because we had technical difficulties last Monday, and we didn’t want anyone to miss this important communication, we are reposting this Marriage Monday.)
It’s happened again. Last week, we learned of another family has been broken up because one person in the marriage says, “I don’t love you anymore.” There’s a common misconception that married couples will always “feel” love for one another. Today’s Marriage Monday looks at this myth and what to do about it if it happens to you.
Mark says…If you’ve been hanging around here very long, you know that Jill and I have had our ups and downs over the years. We’ve hit the lowest of lows when we both felt no love for one another.
Jill says…This was a very scary place to be for both of us. And we both feared that “falling out of love” meant that our relationship was over.
Mark says…When we sought out help through professional counseling, we learned that our experience was actually quite common. Feelings of love can come and go in a marriage. That’s sometimes real life.
Jill says…There are certainly relationships that never experience the “falling out of love” feeling. If that describes you, you need to thank God for that right now.
Mark says…However, if you or your spouse has ever felt like the love has left your relationship, you need to know that is normal. It happens to real people and real marriages. You also need to know that you can put the love back in an empty relationship. Your marriage can survive the ebb and flow of feelings.
Jill says…You also need to know that another relationship is not the answer. Because the same thing will likely happen down the road in another relationship. All relationships have ups and downs. Don’t run to a new relationship because you feel “love” or “passion” there and you don’t feel it at home. Those feelings will wane someday, as well.
Mark says…So what do you do when you no longer have that “loving feeling?” Here are seven steps to take to redeem the love:
1. Seek help. Don’t try to navigate this challenge alone. This can come from a professional counselor, a minister, or even a trusted couple that is a little further down the marriage road than you are. Sometimes, help can also come from a friend who will help hold you accountable to think and do what is right.
2. Evaluate your thought life. What are the thoughts that you think about your spouse? If they are primarily negative thoughts, begin to “take your thoughts captive” (2 Corinthians 10:5). Apologize to God for believing lies about your spouse. Replace those lies with truth about the strengths of him or her.
3. Choose to love. Love is a choice…not a feeling. Begin to act lovingly to your spouse. If you need help making this happen from a practical perspective, pick up a copy of the book The Love Dare.
4. Invest in your marriage. Work to deepen your communication. Turn off the television, step away from the computer, and spend time with your spouse. Step into your spouse’s world and help them with a project or even with household tasks like dinner, dishes, or the laundry.
5. Re-engage in your relationship. If you’ve lost that lovin’ feeling, you’ve likely let your eyes and your heart wander away from your marriage. Re-engage in the relationship you’ve got. You may not feel like it in the beginning, but you can still choose to do the right thing.
6. Grow up. Remember that God uses marriage to mature you. Maturity often happens when we resist the flesh (what we want to do) and pursue the Spirit (what God wants us to do). When we do things God’s way, there’s always a blessing to follow.
7. Recognize the true enemy. Your spouse is not the enemy. There is a spiritual battle raging against your marriage. The Bible says that Satan divides and destroys. Recognize the reality of the battle and fight it with God’s truth and prayer.
What about you? Have you ever lost that “lovin feeling?” What did you do to re-ignite the love in your marriage?
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ok… so, no one’s commenting -yet. I simply want to say: Amen.
Thanks for sharing your wisdom, Mr and Mrs Savage. The heart can be deceived… you gotta lead your heart, pray and stay in the Word. God will never let us down.
I love your words “you have to lead your heart.” Thank you for sharing!
Thanks for sharing your story. Going through a little downer in regards to my marriage but then again I have not had good examples of how to do it right. God Bless.
I’m so glad it was helpful!
Do you think this is always true? I have been at a crossroads in my marriage for a long time… my husband (this is a blended marriage, his, mine and ours) has been verbally abusive to our children (mine and his, but not ours, strangely enough). We did go to counseling for that; he is too stubborn to change. He doesn’t “say” so many nasty things to them anymore; now he basically ignores them, which isn’t good either. He is not a family man, at ALL, but I am a huge family person. He spends all of his spare time away from us, snowboarding, riding his motorcyle or playing pool down at the bar. All activities that we cannot afford. His financial beliefs are that he is going to enjoy life while he is here on Earth; I am more of the Dave Ramsey school of thought. Meaning, we are in debt up to our ears, and I (not him) am trying to get us out of HIS financial mess. So why did I marry him? Well, in the beginning, he was good to my daughter. He used to have a job that paid extremely well, so he could afford to support his active lifestyle (that company went out of business, and he took a huge pay cut), so he was happy. Money seems to make him happy, although I didn’t realize it at the time we were first dating- it did not become obvious until he lost the high-paying job. I have talked to him until I am blue in the face (about these issues); it is like talking to a wall. My heart turned against him when he called my then 8 year-old daughter a “worthless piece of shit” late one night after he had woken her up and began to toss all of her things on the floor, and had told her to “get out.” That was 4 years ago, and I am still here, and still very angry. I didn’t leave then, because of money. We both make good money but because he has run up our debt so high, I don’t have enough left over after all the bills to move out. The majority of the financial problems may be his, but when you are married, they are essentially “your” problems. So, here we are all these years later, and I have been so angry at him. I try to live peacefully most of the time, because it makes life easier for everyone, but is it worth it to keeping hanging on to a relationship that has been miserable for so long? I was reading your article, and was wondering if sometimes this advice doesn’t apply? Or am I supposed to keep “loving” a man who fully admits that he is totally and completely selfish (and things will always be “his” way)? I’m sure you can tell from this comment that he is not about to “waste” his time going to church. Some people tell us that bringing God into the relationship is the solution, but some people are not receptive, and that will not work. Thanks for any advice; this is a really hard place to be.
Amanda, you are in a hard place. I’m so sorry for that. It sounds as if you are in an abusive marriage and that he is a verbally abusive parent. No child deserves to live in that environment. And no person deserves to live in that environment…and that means you. Your situation would be different than the one we’re talking about in this Marriage Monday post.
We’re firm believers that any marriage is fixable and that all marriages go through hard times. But abusive relationships are a different situation and you may need to make some hard decisions in order to protect your children.
Father God, we lift Amanda up to you. You know the situation she’s in. She needs your direction and your wisdom. She needs your peace. We pray protection over her family. You are hope Lord…may Amanda feel your hope. In Jesus Name…Amen.